Thursday, 14 April 2011

New report: Governing Marine Protected Areas – Getting the Balance Right.

Whilst much guidance exists on how to manage marine protected areas (MPAs), there is little guidance available on how to combine top-down, bottom-up and market approaches to reach and implement decisions that achieve effective and equitable MPAs. To fill this gap, the technical report offers a new approach to planning of sustainable and equitable MPAs. It presents a new governance framework
underpinned by 20 MPA case studies from around the world reviewed by MPA planners, managers, and governance experts. The complexity of MPA governance has been ‘deconstructed’ using 40 parameters (incentives) in five categories.

Guidance and policy options are provided on how MPA planners might combine different incentives to support MPA governance in different contexts. The effort intends to provide a foundation for further discussion and learning. It forms part of UNEP’s wider strategic work on integrated marine and coastal ecosystem-based management, stimulating interaction and a ‘common ground’ among traditionally conflicting maritime uses. Next steps include further 'ground-truthing' of the framework through national planning demonstrations, plus development of shorter 'summary for policy makers'.

The governance analysis framework, supporting resources and 20 case studies are available at

The report was launched last week at a large international workshop - 'Exploring the role of MPAs in Reconciling Fisheries and Conservation Objectives' - organized by UNEP, FAO and the Government of Norway. Web: